Harold Frederick Heim, 90, died peacefully in his home in Buttonwood Bay, Key Largo, Florida on March 12, 2014. Born in Flushing, New York, on October 12, 1923, Hal moved with his family to Strathmore Vanderbilt, Manhasset, Long Island, graduating from Manhasset High School in 1941.
In the middle of his freshman year at Colgate University, Hal enlisted in the Army, serving in the 109th Cavalry Recon Squadron, First U.S. Army V Corps. After training in England, Hal saw combat on D-Day in the Omaha Beach Normandy Invasion, and participated in the liberation of Paris. He was wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, for which he was decorated, and fought across the European theater, liberating several German concentration camps at the war’s end.
Hal returned to college on the G.I. Bill with his wife Barbara (Ridgway) Heim, also of Strathmore Vanderbilt, whom he married in March, 1946. Upon Hal’s graduation from Colgate, he and Barbara settled in Levittown, Long Island, where their daughters Susan (Heim) and Sibyl (Canaan) were born.
Hal’s professional sales career began in the infancy of the frozen food industry with the Bird’s Eye division of General Foods, and continued with the Campbell Soup Company, ending as a Vice-President of Sales for the Eastern Division. During Hal’s lifetime career with Campbell, he and his family relocated several times, including to Shaker Heights, Ohio; Hinsdale, Illinois; and Fayetteville, New York, before resettling in Manhasset in 1961.
After Hal’s retirement from Campbell in 1979, he and Barbara moved to Key Largo, where they both became active in various local organizations. Especially notably, Hal participated actively in monitoring the safety and environmental impact of the reconstruction of the 18-mile highway stretch leading to Key Largo.
He was always engaged in the Episcopal churches wherever he lived, including the Church of St. James the Fisherman in Islamorada, where he served as vestryman and Sunday school teacher. Hal’s other commitments also included his volunteer work at the Red Cross and Mariner’s Hospital, and service on the Buttonwood Bay Condominium Association Board, and his civic contributions were recognized many times over the years.
The big band music of his youth was his passion, so much so that he was voted “Best Dancer” and “Best Dressed” in his high school, and he attended many of his last MHS reunions.
Devoted to Colgate throughout his life, Hal remained an active alumnus, serving as Class of ’45 President, Class Secretary and class fundraiser for many years. His grandson, Nicholas Canaan (‘02), and grandnephew, Casey Geloneck (‘05), share his deep love of Colgate.
All who knew Hal will always remember his love of travel, sailing, beaches, and the water, his wonderful writing, his dedication to public service, and his positive, indefatigable spirit.
He is survived by his sister, Roseann Hall of Seattle and her family, his two daughters, his son-in-law, Howard Canaan, his three grandsons, Jeffrey (Heim), Nicholas (Canaan), and Alexander (Canaan), and his great-grandson, Benjamin (Canaan). A burial service will be held on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 at Christ Church, Manhasset, followed by interment next to his wife in the family plot in Christ Church. It would be appreciated if any donations were made in Hal’s memory to the charitable organizations or educational institutions of your choice.